Taste of autumn: Welcome season with this 2-course meal

Taste of autumn: Welcome season with this 2-course meal

by Mary Del Rosario
Stripes Japan
There’s nothing better than welcoming the fall season with a pumpkin spice latte in your hand and devouring a warm bowl of pumpkin soup. However, why not expand your 
palette with this delicious three-course menu that will match your favorite fall festival!
Mini Apple Cider Pound Cakes
Start to finish: 2 hours and 20 minutes
Serves: 6 mini loaves
  • 1 ½ cups softened butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • Preheat oven to 163 degrees Celsius. Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add  eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
  • Stir together flour and next 4 ingredients. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with apple cider, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Add the vanilla.
  • Grease the loaf pans with cooking spray (can buy disposable ones if you don’t have). Pour the batter into prepared pans and place them on a baking sheet. For streusel-topped cakes, sprinkle about 2 Tbsp. Streusel topping over batter in each pan.
  • Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely for about 1 hour. For glaze-topped cakes, spoon desired glaze over cooled cakes.


Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • A pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pepper
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth


  • Preheat the oven to 218 degrees Celsius and place the butternut squash on the pan and drizzle each half lightly with olive oil. Rub the oil over the inside of the squash and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
  • Turn the squash face down and roast until it is tender and completely cooked through about 45 to 50 minutes. Set the squash aside until it’s cool enough to handle. Scoop the butternut squash flesh into a bowl and discard the tough skin.
  • In a medium-size skillet, heat up 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped shallot and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often until the shallot has softened and is starting to turn golden on the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Add the reserved squash to the pot, then add the broth, maple syrup, nutmeg and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes.  Carefully use your immersion blender to blend the soup completely, then add 1 to 2 tablespoons butter to taste, and blend again. Taste and blend in more salt and pepper, if necessary.


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